The Russian and Iranian presidents have condemned in a phone call "aggressive" U.S. actions against Syria, the Kremlin says. Both Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rohani "noted the inadmissibility of U.S. aggressive actions against a sovereign state in violation of international law," the Kremlin said on April 9.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani meets Russian President Vladimir Putin
Moscow, March 28, 2017 (photo by Islamic Republic News Agency)
The statement comes after the United States struck a Syrian air base with
dozens of cruise missiles on April 7 in response to what Washington says was a
deadly chemical weapons attack against civilians by President Bashar al-Assad's
Russia and Iran, Assad's chief allies, quickly condemned the strike in strong terms, while Washington's allies voiced support for the U.S. action.
Putin and Rohani called for an "objective, impartial" investigation into the incident and expressed readiness to deepen cooperation to fight terrorism, the Kremlin said.
Also on April 9, Syrian state media reported that Rohani affirmed his support for Syria's government in a phone call with Assad.
"The nation of Iran will remain alongside the Syrian nation in fighting terrorism and safeguarding Syria's territorial integrity," Rohani said in the call, according to a statement on the presidency website.
Rohani called the U.S. strike a "blatant violation" of Syrian sovereignty while dismissing reports that Assad's regime was behind the deadly gas attack as "baseless."
Western countries have blamed the Syrian government for the April 4 attack in the town of Khan Sheikhoun that left 86 dead, including 31 children.
Iran and Russia have been the key backers of Assad, providing him with military and financial support.
They refer to all Syrian opposition groups as "terrorists."
"Greater coordination between Iran, Syria, and Russia can be very effective in the fight against terrorism," Rohani said.
Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and IRNA
The top Russian and Iranian generals have condemned the U.S. missile strike
against a Syrian military base and vowed to continue their fight against
"terrorists," which they generally call opponents of Syrian President Bashar
The chief of the Russian General Staff, General Valery Gerasimov, and his
Iranian counterpart, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, spoke by phone on April 8,
Iranian state news agency IRNA reported.
According to the report, the generals "condemned the American operation against a Syrian air base, which is an aggression against an independent country."
Russia and mainly Shi'ite Iran are the main backers of Assad in the civil war against various rebel groups supported by the United States and Turkey.
In the past, Russia and Iran have labeled Assad's opponents as "terrorists."
On April 7, the United States launched a cruise-missile attack against Syria's Shayrat air base, which the U.S. military says was used to launch a nerve-gas attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun on April 4, killing dozens of people.
The statement by the Iranian and Russian military chiefs echoed comments made by their countries' leaders in the hours after the U.S. strike.
The two generals said the missile strike was a "preplanned program" intended to slow gains by the Syrian military and to "strengthen the morale of terrorists and their supporters."
They also vowed to continue and intensify the fight agianst "Takfiri terrorists," which usually refers to Sunni Muslim extremists, including Islamic State (IS) militants.
Most U.S. allies have rallied around Washington in the aftermath of the suspected chemical-weapons attack and subsequent U.S. missile strike.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he had canceled a scheduled April 10 visit to Moscow as developments in Syria "have changed the situation fundamentally."
United Nations war crimes investigators have opened a probe into the chemical attack, with UN Syrian envoy Staffan de Mistura saying all indications were that "it was a chemical attack and it came from the air."
More than 320,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011 with a crackdown by Assad against antigovernment protesters.
With reporting by IRNA and AFP
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